Tuesday 19 March Burnett – Elm Farm Leader: Philippa Paget

Thirty people gathered in the farmyard in fine, sunny weather. Philippa gave a short talk on the set-up and ethos of the farm. We set-off across the fields, spotting a distant Red Kite and then a closer Kestrel. The trees and hedges of the field boundaries were filled with Chaffinches and bright Yellowhammers in pleasing numbers; Skylarks sang along as we reached the track where Philippa had put seed down for the finches. A flock of 20 Siskins was spotted. We crossed into a field where we could see owl boxes, regularly used by Barn Owls. We had a brief glimpse of a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Green Woodpecker called loudly. An early coffee stop gave great views across the valley and the company of a loudly singing Chiffchaff. Three Buzzards circled above. We carried on down, looking for the Mistle Thrush whose song rang out in the valley; finally it showed itself in the top of a tall tree ahead. We made a small diversion to inspect the STW and brook; giving us a Goldcrest with other common small birds. Finally we climbed the long, slow hill back to the farm – everyone made it! We arrived to the hoots of Collared Doves and the wheeze and trill of Greenfinches. We had seen several Brimstone utterflies, hare and deer. It had been a lovely spring walk to the sound of singing Robins, Dunnocks, Wrens, Tits and Chiffchaff, with 32 species altogether. Thanks to Graham for the bird count and to Philippa for
leading us. Anne Crowe